Local News

Businessman Charged With Not Funding Promised Retirement Accounts

Posted August 16, 2007 1:29 a.m. EDT
Updated August 16, 2007 6:21 p.m. EDT

— Police have charged a business owner, Shaw University trustee and state banking commissioner with stealing thousands of dollars from his employees’ retirement fund.

Harold Lewis, 56, was charged with conversion of property. He was released on an unsecured $7,000 bond.

Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday sent a letter to Lewis, removing him from the state Banking Commission. Lewis had been appointed to serve as a public representative on the commission for a term that was supposed to run through April 1, 2009.

Police said Lewis offered to set up retirement accounts for employees at CCA Rehab Inc., but never deposited their money into the accounts. They arrested him Tuesday.

Seven employees are out a total of $8,000, police said. Lewis is accused of committing the crime over a seven-month period in 2006, according to the police incident report of his arrest.

CCA offers speech therapy and other services to school-age children, according to a job description in an online posting for a speech pathologist last month.

Lewis, whose full name is Harold Donell Lewis, is listed on the 2007-08 board of trustees at Shaw, which identifies him as chairman, president and chief executive of CCA Rehab.

H. Donell Lewis is also listed as an associate professor in the communication disorders master’s degree program at North Carolina Central University in Durham.